Park View Antiques

Royal Worcester Date Marks

Steven Clarke

The Worcester Porcelain Factory was founded in 1751 by Dr John Wall, Royal Worcester marks incorporating a crown above a circle were first introduced in 1862 and combined the number 51 within the circle signifying the year Dr Wall founded the original company.

This printed mark was used in may colours, often puce, green or blue in earlier pieces, mostly black marks were used from around 1950 to the mid 60's. Date codes or marks were nearly always used alongside the standard mark up until 1966 when a different format of back-stamp was introduced. The more modern items, from the late 60's onwards, mostly used black or gold back-stamps.

Between the years of 1862 and 1875 the last two numbers of the the years were occasionally used to indicate the year of manufacture but in 1867 a more organised method of date codes was introduced, with a letter beneath the standard mark, 1867 used the letter A, 1868 used B, 1869 C and so on.

Royal Worcester date codes for 1867 to 1890

Royal Worcester date codes for 1867 to 1890

Two early Royal Worcester marks one in puce with date code a for 1890 and one in green with date letter V for 1884

Two early Royal Worcester marks one in puce with date code a for 1890 and one in green with date letter V for 1884

In 1891 Royal Worcester introduced the words 'Royal Worcester England' beneath the standard Worcester mark with the addition of a dot to the left of the crown in 1892, followed by a further dot to the right of the crown in 1893, and this continued until 1903 with a total of twelve dots, six either side of the crown. In 1904 further dots (one for each additional year) were added beneath the words 'Royal Worcester England', until 1915 with a total of 24 dots, six dots either side of the crown and twelve beneath the words 'Royal Worcester England'.     

Royal Worcester date codes for 1892 to 1915

Royal Worcester date codes for 1892 to 1915

Royal Worcester date marks circa 1900, one with two dots for 1893, one with 12 dotes for 1903 and one with 14 dots for 1905

Royal Worcester date marks circa 1900, one with two dots for 1893, one with 12 dotes for 1903 and one with 14 dots for 1905

The method of using an additional dot for each year was becoming rather cumbersome, so in 1916 a small star was used below the standard mark with the addition of a dot for each preceding year. This method was used until 1927 when there were eleven dots arranged around the single small star.

Royal Worcester dates form 1916 to 1927

Royal Worcester dates form 1916 to 1927

Royal Worcester marks circa 1920, one with * and 5 dots for 1921, one with * and 9 dots for 1925

Royal Worcester marks circa 1920, one with * and 5 dots for 1921, one with * and 9 dots for 1925

From 1928 Royal Worcester introduced a different shape as the date code for each preceding year, until 1933, when they started the method of adding an additional dot for each year. This method continued until 1941 when there were nine dots arranged around three interlinked circles.

Royal Worcester date codes form 1928 to 1941

Royal Worcester date codes form 1928 to 1941

Royal Worcester marks circa 1930's, top row 1928, 1929, 1930. Bottom row 1931, 1932 and 1938

Royal Worcester marks circa 1930's, top row 1928, 1929, 1930. Bottom row 1931, 1932 and 1938

Between the years of 1942 and 1948 no date codes were used. In 1949 the letter V was used and in 1950 W was used, in 1951 the method of adding an additional dot for each year either side of the W was reintroduced. From 1956 the letter R was often used in place of the W. This method continued until the mid 60's and from 1966 the date code was rarely used.

Royal Worcester date code form 1949 to 1963

Royal Worcester date code form 1949 to 1963

Royal Worcester marks circa 1950, top row 1949 and 1950, bottom row 1952 and 1959 with the letter R instead of W.

Royal Worcester marks circa 1950, top row 1949 and 1950, bottom row 1952 and 1959 with the letter R instead of W.

With the introduction of the more modern bone china table wear the year of the introduction of the pattern was used rather than the year of the individual pieces manufacture. The more decorative pieces, not designed for everyday use, often used a mark with no date code or manufacture year.

Three modern marks, one for a 'Vine Harvest' pattern piece introduced in 1978 and two decorative piece one in black and one gold with no indication of year of manufacture or introduction.

Three modern marks, one for a 'Vine Harvest' pattern piece introduced in 1978 and two decorative piece one in black and one gold with no indication of year of manufacture or introduction.


Worcester Factories and Owners

Steven Clarke

1751 -  Dr John Wall, William Davis along with 13 other partners set up the original Worcester factory at Warmstry House, Worcester. The period between 1751 and 1783 commonly know as the First period or Dr Wall period.

1776 - Dr Wall dies, the factory continues under the ownership of the other founding partners

1783 - Thomas Flight buys the Warmstry factory for £3000, his two sons took up the running of the factory. 1783 to 1792 know as the Flight period

1792 - Martin Barr buys into a partnership with Thomas Flight. 1792 to 1804 know as the Flight and Barr period

1789 - Shortly after a visit form King George III the King awarded Worcester with its first Royal Warrent

1800 - Thomas Flight dies

1804 - Warmstry factory owned by Martin Barr Senior, Joseph Flight and Martin Barr Junior. 1804 to 1813 know as the Barr Flight and Barr period

1813 - Factory owned by Joseph Flight, Martin Barr Jnr. and George Barr. 1813 to 1840 know as the Flight Barr and Barr period

1840 - Flight Barr and Barr merge with the rival Chamberlains company (formed in 1788)

1852 - Under the management of Richard William Binns and William Henry Kerr a new partnership is formed and production moved to the Chamberlains factory is Severn Street. 1852 to 1862 know as Kerr and Binns Worcester.

1862 - Worcester Royal Porcelain Company formed with Edward Phillips as major shareholder. 1862 onwards the company is know as Royal Worcester

1889 - Royal Worcester bought the Grainger porcelain Company.

1905 - Royal Worcester bought Hadley and Sons